Strengthening human resources for adolescent health in Sri Lanka through health and education sector collaboration

A recent study has outlined the lack of health workers with necessary skills and experience in ASRH [Shankar 2008] and another study recommends more research and a inter-sectoral approach that is supported by public health policy and legislation [De Silva, Somanathan & Eriyagama 2003, p.18]. Other studies have also called for collaboration between the health, education, social, cultural and legal sectors to better address ASRH problems [[ Agampodi, S, Agampodi, T & Piyaseeli 2008; Mirkuzie & Olsson 2008; Ratnayake 2002].
In addition, many of the counselling service points established through the Sexual and Reproductive Health Information, Education, Counselling and Services to Adolescents and Youths program, co-ordinated by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and non-government organisations under European Commission (EU) funding, are no longer functioning [Dawson, Wijewardena & Black 2010].
Adequate inter-sectoral workforce planning and performance management is required Government efforts recognise the important role that health, media, education and youth workers play in making large, sustained impacts on adolescent health [Hughes & McCauley 1998; Speizer, Magnani & Colvin 2003].
• Failure of youth specific service centres trials such as the youth corner in hospitals: Adolescents in Sri Lanka have poor knowledge and utilisation of existing adolescent specific health services [Agampodi, S, Agampodi, T & Piyaseeli 2008].
Inter-sectoral collaboration will ensure efficient use of current resources to improve the provision of health services and information to adolescents
• ASRH is inter-factorial and underpinned by biological as well as social determinants.
A key study [Dawson, Wijewardena & Black 2010] in the Kalutara District has found that collaboration between adolescent health services and education programs is limited.
• Integrated services, team approaches and the collaboration of human resources (HR) beyond health are responsible for large, sustained impacts on adolescent health [Hughes & McCauley 1998; Speizer, Magnani & Colvin 2003].

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